Fernando and Humberto Campana are known to incorporate unusual materials into their designs: stuffed animals are transformed into chairs, Pirarucu fish skin is tacked onto a cabinet and found plastic objects get stuck in seating. But their latest material may just be the most unexpected yet: oats. For Design Miami, the brothers teamed with Liz Swig, founder of LizWorks on “Time for Oatmeal.”
“I’ve always been an oatmeal eater. I love oatmeal,” said Swig, who orchestrated the project. “I want to create a new vocabulary for oatmeal and make it that people can eat it any time of day.”
Swig sought the help of the Brazilian designers to bring the project to life. “I love the idea of the craziness of taking a food product and launching it at a design fair,” she added. “We’re on this journey together of creating this immersive oatmeal environment.”
The collaboration riffs on the idea of food as material and material as food. “We always start by the material, me and my brother,” said Humberto Campana, who added that he grew up eating oatmeal. The Campanas crafted the Design Miami booth using oats — slathered on the walls and wood display tables — creating a sort of “oatmeal barn.” They also designed a capsule of accompanying bowl designs using terra cotta and gilded bronze. The pieces were shown alongside an all-day oatmeal menu, concocted by chef Marissa Lippert and Bon Appétit editor-at-large Christine Muhlke. Visitors could take away a bite of the project, albeit in a more disposable paper bowl.
“This is a kind of Noah’s Ark,” said Humberto Campana, pointing to one of their oversized bronze bowl designs, which features an army of animal detailing. “It looks like the animals are coming out [of the bowl],” he continued. “It’s about our times, and difficult times that people are struggling. The planet needs salvation, needs a new ark, concept.”
Just some food for thought.